With the beginning of the school year quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning meetings for your school’s teachers and staff or even plan a student icebreaker event. Summer meetings are often dreaded by many and can be seen as a not-so-good way to spend their last days of summer. But, with a few fun activities, you can turn meetings into fun team bonding for everyone.
Here at Connections Team Building and Training, we want to help you create engaging, interesting bonding activities for your staff so they can get to know each other on a deeper level, learn effective ways to connect and communicate, and have some entertainment while doing so!
Getting to know one another
There are SO many ice breaker games out there. And chances are most of your teachers and staff have done them before. Here are some of our favorites that may be new to some and will help everyone get to know each other so they can have a more successful school year.
- Two truths and a lie: This game is simple enough, but still allows everyone to flex their creativity muscles. Staff must simply introduce themselves and give the group three statements; two of which are true and one being a lie. Then, the group must guess which statement is the lie. Not only do they learn fun facts about each other, but it’ll also get your teachers talking about their summer activities, passions, and backgrounds with one another.
- Six degrees of separation: This game is a little trickier, but helps reinforce communication skills and gets the introverted ones out of their shells. In partners, each set makes a list of five things they have in common with each other. After that, each person goes around to find a new partner that has at least one thing in common with their list. They then repeat the making of a list of five things. This continues until every person in the room has at least one thing in common with everyone else. This is a great team bonding exercise to show what the entire group has in common, building connections between each team member.
- Introduce your partner: This one is simple enough. Everyone partners with someone they don’t know very well. Giving them one to two minutes each, each partner will share with the other a little bit about themselves. Once all partners have shared with one another, each person goes around and introduces their partner to the larger group. This exercise gives people a chance to learn new names and faces, and requires attention since they have to repeat it back to the whole group!
Get them up and moving
- Protect the egg: This game will greatly improve communication and trust among your teachers. In small groups, everyone must work together to build a creation out of household materials that will protect a falling egg. After a set amount of time, (15 to 20 minutes), each group will test what they created by dropping their egg from a chair or table. Once every group has gone, debrief and discuss how communication was, what creative ideas were shared, and overall, what led to a successful result.
- Obstacle course: A classic obstacle course will loosen any group up and encourage true team support of one another. Each team will choose one person to be blindfolded to go through the course you’ve made. The teams will have to communicate with their participant as they fumble their way to the finish line. The team with the first person to finish wins. This activity encourages strong communication skills amongst each other and encourages team comradery.
- Roll call: A simple and quick way to get everyone out of their seats is a round of roll call. Have everyone line up and then have them all get into order by names alphabetically in a short amount of time — two minutes max. This will create a fast-paced, fun, and communicative environment. For an added level of difficulty, and some imagination, have them play without speaking. 😏
It can be very important to remind your staff and teachers to take a deep breath, relax, and rely on one another to have a fantastic school year. Mindfulness exercises can be a great way to wrap up a day of meetings so everyone can clear their minds and share what they learned.
- Rainbow walk: Have everyone walk around the inside and outside of the school alone to reflect on the day. While they are doing so, ask them to find one thing of each color of the rainbow as they explore, in order. When everyone returns, have them share what they noticed about the school that they hadn’t before. Is there some area that needs to be worked on? Is there a prominent color that appears the most? Asking these questions can help improve team unity.
- Group yoga: A short group yoga session to end a long day is a great way for the group to unwind together. There are many short and simple yoga routines you can do as a group that introduces relaxing poses and breathing exercises. This activity can also translate well into the classroom once students return.
What are the benefits of doing team building activities?
Team building in schools is a vital aspect of having an easy, successful school year for both students and the staff. With new teachers arriving every fall, these activities create an environment where new staff feels included and returning staff can get to know them before students arrive. They also help encourage communication, unity and creativity among everyone. Implementing team bonding into staff meetings or trainings throughout the year encourages this continued team effort from everyone, and they have fun while doing it.
We hope to help you plan your upcoming, back-to-school team bonding experiences so your teachers and staff are ready to take on another amazing school year.
Learn more about our team bonding opportunities here.